SouthsideBasieNewYrsSouthside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes ring in the new year for the 15th time at the Count Basie Theatre on Tuesday, December 31 — a date that also sees the Basie cutting the ribbon on the first “pop-up store” dedicated to New Jersey’s 350th birthday campaign.

From press materials furnished by Count Basie Theatre

The New Year’s Eve performances by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes at the Count Basie Theatre have become a 15-year Jersey Shore tradition — and at Tuesday night’s countdown concert, the Basie will kick off New Jersey’s 350th birthday celebration year with the opening of the first official New Jersey 350 Pop-Up store, commemorating three and a half centuries of life in the Garden State. A group of dignitaries will be cutting the ribbon on the Pop-Up in a ceremony at noon on December 31.

The Red Bank store will be located onsite at the Basie, just next door to the theatre’s Carlton Lounge. The Pop-Up stores will travel to venues and events around the state throughout 2014.

NJ350 Pop-Up stores will specialize in merchandise with a unique New Jersey focus. Featured products are what curators have dubbed “Jerseyana.” Included are the “Jerseyopoly” board game and “Goodnight Jersey” children’s book, as well as NJ350 and state-branded merchandise; educational items; items specific to the history of Red Bank and the Count Basie Theatre; Governor Chris Christie’s popular state-silhouette lapel pin and more. The Red Bank location will remain open through January 6, 2014.

“We are proud that the Count Basie Theatre and our annual New Year’s Eve celebration is the official kick off for NJ350,” said Adam Philipson, Count Basie Theatre CEO. “We’re delighted to work with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the New Jersey Historical Commission, and we couldn’t think of a more appropriate artist than Jersey’s own Southside Johnny to help us kick off the New Year together.”

Scheduled to be in attendance at the 12 pm ceremony will be State Senator Joe Kyrillos, joined by Grace Hanlon (Executive Director, NJ Department of State, Division of Travel and Tourism), Sara Cureton (Director, New Jersey Historical Commission and New Jersey Cultural Trust), Nick Paleologos (Executive Director, New Jersey State Council on the Arts), Jef Buehler (Office of Main Street New Jersey and Improvement District Programs), and Count Basie Theatre executives Adam Philipson, Michael Parent and Shannon Eadon. The Chorus of the Atlantic’s barbershop quartet “The Jersey Coasters” (featuring tenor Kirk Thomson of Fair Haven) will provide the harmonies, and the New Jersey Hall of Fame Mobile Museum will be on site for the occasion.

NJ350 will open additional pop-up stores throughout 2014 in locations such as Atlantic City, Westfield, Montclair, Boonton, Bridgeton, Newton, Hammonton and Highland Park. The final pop-up store will open in the state capitol of Trenton in December 2014.

Tickets for the December 31 Jukes concert ($39.50 – $99) can be reserved here. Start time for the show is 9 pm, and opening for the Jukes will be Jay Stolar. To find out more about NJ350, contact Sara Cureton at (609)292-6062.